HRH Princess Anne Debuts Covid Unsung Heroes Awards for Women in STEM

The Princess Royal has announced six winners of the Covid Unsung Hero Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) awards in recognition of women who helped improve lives and communities during the pandemic.

Organized by the leading community interest company WISE, of which HRH Princess Anne is a longtime patron, the awards were held at Windsor Castle to celebrate STEM roles, backgrounds and industries.

It has been an honor and a privilege to witness the work of these extraordinary women over the past two years. Every candidate made an exceptional contribution during the pandemic and we really look forward to celebrating them all as winners. Since I was named CEO of WISE at the height of the pandemic, I have been so impressed with the tenacity, excellence and vision shown by so many women in STEM, and none more than recognized last night – Kay Hussain, CEO of WISE

The candidates were judged by leading industry experts, including Professor Dame Sue Hill, Scientific Director for England and NHS Senior Genomics Officer, and Ricky Martin, Fellow of the Royal Society for Chemistry and winner of The BBC’s The Apprentice.

The six award categories included: technology innovation, education, data solution, diversity and inclusion, community engagement and pandemic response.

And the winners are …

Award winners included:

  • Dr. Amy Thomas: Research Associate at the University of Bristol and Tech Award winner (sponsored by Pfizer), for designing and validating a saliva spit test after identifying early in the pandemic that the widely used swab test was not suitable for children.
  • Dr Anna Young: Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath and winner of the New Educator Award (sponsored by PA Consulting), for her role in ensuring that over 1,200 mechanical engineering undergraduates could receive high-quality education and pastoral support during Bath University transition to blended learning.
  • Fiona Bennington: Product Design Engineer and Head of Entrepreneurship and Growth at Catalyst in Belfast and Responsive Hero Award winner (sponsored by AWE), for forming a cross-border consortium of companies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to distribute PPE to frontline workers during the first wave of the pandemic.
  • Ming Tang: Chief data and analytics officer ad interim at NHS England and NHS Improvement and winner of the Data Solution Award (sponsored by IQVIA), for the creation of the Covid Data Store, which used AI to ensure that ICU staff, PPE and the drugs were placed in the right places at the right time.
  • Susan McDonald: Energy Lead at Deloitte and Community Champion Award winner (sponsored by the NHS), for her work ensuring Covid testing at home was available to all, including the accessibility guide for ethnic minority groups, blind people and visually impaired and those who screen or self-isolate.
  • Tolulope Ok: Global leader in customer engagement in diversity, equity and inclusion at Amazon Web Services, and winner of the Inclusion and Diversity award (sponsored by Hyper Recruitment Solutions), for her work in relaunching Amazon’s Inclusion Ambassador program in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, creating a network of over 1,400 diversity and inclusion ambassadors in 28 countries to provide additional support during the pandemic.

Dame Sue Hill DBE, Chief Scientific Officer for England and Lead Ambassador at WISE, commented: “These women made a staggering impact during the pandemic, going above and beyond to help keep our populations and communities safe during the pandemic. a really difficult time.

“As a WISE ambassador, I am continually amazed by the achievements of the women we represent and I hope these awards will somehow help show our gratitude for their efforts.”

Sponsors for the awards included NHS, PA Consulting, Pfizer, Hyper Recruitment Solutions, IQVIA, and AWE.

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HRH Princess Anne Debuts Covid Unsung Heroes Awards for Women in STEM

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